The Information Commissioner’s Office has found the North Lanarkshire Council in breach of the Data Protection Act after it lost information pertaining to six vulnerable clients.
The data breach occurred when a home support worker lost his bag which contained the list of vulnerable individuals he had to visit in the next two days. The ICO ruled that the council’s guidelines on how workers should handle sensitive data were inadequate.
According to The Register (opens in new tab), the council has signed an undertaking with the ICO, in which it would ensure that it has proper policies and procedures for storing and disposing documents containing personal data.
“Organisations have a responsibility to make sure that any personal information used by their workers outside of the office remains secure," Assistant Commissioner for Scotland, Ken Macdonald said in a statement released by the ICO.
"It is never acceptable for papers containing sensitive personal information to be left in an unlocked bag without necessary precautions,” he added.
However, the council pointed out that no amount of data security measures would work if the theft of a handbag containing hard copies of the data was involved.